A near-mythical time in which it is rumored that all manner of strange and improbable things happened: when clans had unlimited power, some contestants were like unto gods, the Shack's items never changed and some could not be had for love or money, and the entire Island could be traveled in a day with a good mount.
There is dissent about what caused the shift from that time to this. Some say that it was the doing of the Watcher; others say that it was, in fact, because she fell at the hands of a contestant, and the Improbability Drive1), taking great objection to her fall, reshaped the face of the world to cause it to be undone. Still others maintain that someone actually figured out how the Island worked, necessitating its replacement with something more elaborate and improbable.
Whichever it was, many Island inhabitants insist that the end of this golden age was a Reset.